Wistow Village

The village and parish of Wistow, Cambridgeshire

21 August 2017

Glossary of Terms

If you’re not quite sure what a term or phrase means, check out the following descriptions of common terms and phrases below.


A -

Acre - A value of land assessment used in Domesday
Acra, ager: A value of land assessment used often in Domesday for pasture, meadow and woodland. Measurement of an acre as a multiple of hides varies in Domesday from region to region.

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C -

Carucate - Amount of land which could be ploughed by one plough team
Carucata: Derived from the Latin word caruca, meaning plough, this is a measure of land used in Danelaw (North and Eastern) counties in Domesday. Equivalent to a hide and represented the amount of land which could be ploughed by one plough team. Also used in Domesday for customary assessment.
CWT - Hundredweight
Symbol for hundredweight, a unit of weight equal to 112 pounds (about 50 kg).

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D -

Demesne - Land under feudalism kept by the lord for his own use
In England the term ancient demesne, sometimes shortened to demesne, referred to those lands that were held by the crown at the time (1066) of William the Conqueror and were recorded in the Domesday Book.

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F -

Furlong - Area or length about 220 yards
Ferlinus, ferdinus, quarentina: Area or length of land for tax assessment; area was one sixteenth of a hide or one quarter of a virgate; length about 220 yards.

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G -

Geld - Periodic tax
Geldum: Periodic tax, first raised for the Danish wars, at a number of pence per hide, carucate or sulung.

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H -

Hide - Approximately 120 acres
Hida: Measurement of land for tax assessment used outside Danelaw counties (where carucates were used). Approximately 120 acres, depending on local variations in the acre.

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L -

League -
Measurement of distance, twelve furlongs, or about 1 miles.

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M -

Mill - A watermill in 1086
A watermill: There were no windmills in England for another 100 years from 1086.

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P -

Plough - Plough team with eight oxen and the plough
Caruca, carruca: In Domesday the word implies a plough team with its eight oxen and the plough itself. The measure of a carucate was originally the amount of land which such a team could plough in one day.

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T -

TRE - Tempora Regis Eduardis
Tempora Regis Eduardis: In the time of King Edward the Confessor; by implication, when all in the realm was legally correct and ownership would have been rightfully secured.

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V -

Virgate - A quarter of a hide
Virgata, virga A quarter of a hide. Used in Domesday for tax purposes.

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